RBC All-Stars are showing up in their communities and at the office, too

Community involvement

Diane Weber was recognized for her efforts to get employees to consider volunteering and Lee Thoresen was awarded for helping people experiencing homelessness.


When Diane Weber agreed to serve as a “volunteer champion” for her fellow RBC Wealth Management–U.S. employees in the Chicago area in 2021, she wasn’t quite sure what she was signing up for.

“At the time I was really starting from scratch,” she says of a role that is meant to help RBC Wealth Management employees get involved in their communities.

But after spending some time as a volunteer champion, Weber, a senior registered client associate in RBC Wealth Management’s Buffalo Grove, Ill., branch, discovered she not only enjoyed the role, but had a knack for connecting with her colleagues. Now, Weber is one of two RBC All-Stars for 2023, recognized in part for her efforts to make it easier for employees to volunteer and give back to communities.

She and Lee Thoresen, senior lead counsel for the firm, were the first two recipients of a new RBC All-Star award, which recognizes employees who embody RBC’s purpose of “helping clients thrive and communities prosper.” The award was created as part of RBC Wealth Management’s partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) and sponsorship of the MLS Hometown Heroes nonprofit showcase the week of the 2023 MLS All-Star Game.

Both Weber and Thoresen received a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the MLS All-Star Game.

Helping employees get involved in their communities

Weber joined RBC Wealth Management in 2013, and as a client associate provides support to her team of financial advisors to help them serve their clients.

The Buffalo Grove branch is small, with just a handful of employees, requiring Weber to wear many hats and become familiar with different technologies and processes to make sure clients’ needs are met.

She approaches her role with curiosity and a collaborative and positive attitude. “I don’t always know the answer, but I can find someone who does,” she says. That outlook also served her well when she was asked to take on the volunteer champion position.

Photo of award recipient, Diane Weber, top right, at a stair climb fundraiser she organized with Chicago workers.

Diane Weber, top right, at a stair climb fundraiser she organized for her Chicago co-workers.

With seven RBC Wealth Management branches in the Chicago region—ranging from Indianapolis in the south to Rockford, Ill., in the north, more than 275 miles apart—a major challenge of being the volunteer champion was to find ways to get all employees involved.

Often, she’s learned, people can be so busy in their day-to-day lives that they don’t think they have time to participate in an in-person volunteer activity. That’s why it’s been important for her to reach out to people individually to ask about their interests, and then create and share different kinds of opportunities.

“You have to make it easy for people to participate,” she says. “Sometimes they just might not realize how fulfilling it is when you give your time, and I find it motivating to get them involved.”

It’s for that reason that Weber has come to appreciate the opportunity of helping her teammates serve their communities, just as she helps them serve their clients through her day-to-day role.

“I like what I do—I like assisting clients and I like my volunteer champion role,” she says. “And I like that I get to do it here at RBC.”

Supporting people experiencing homelessness

Lee Thoresen, the second winner of the 2023 RBC All-Star award, was recognized for her ability to provide sound legal advice to internal business partners and support RBC Wealth Management financial advisors in serving their clients, and also for her commitment to the issue of affordable housing in the Twin Cities community.

Thoresen has been with RBC Wealth Management since 2006, and has provided leadership and guidance through a number of complex, highly regulated projects while still working to make sure clients receive the service they need.

Outside of work, Thoresen volunteers with Simpson Housing Services, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit providing shelter and supportive housing to people experiencing and transitioning out of homelessness. She joined the nonprofit’s board in 2017, and was elected chairperson in 2022. In that role, she helped Simpson reach its funding milestone for a new $45 million homeless shelter and affordable housing project.

Photo of Lee Thoresen representing the Golden Valley, Minn.

Lee Thoresen representing the Golden Valley, Minn., Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission.

Additionally, when RBC Wealth Management prepared to move to the firm’s new RBC Gateway headquarters in downtown Minneapolis in early 2022, Thoresen helped to facilitate the donation of lightly used office furniture and workstations to Simpson’s headquarters.

Thoresen also serves on the Golden Valley, Minn., Diversity Equity & Inclusion Commission, where she works to advise and assist the city on matters of diversity and affordable housing.

Whether it’s through her work with Simpson or with the Golden Valley commission, Thoresen is passionate about fighting to end homelessness and helping to create housing solutions for people in need.

“Without housing, children and adults don’t have access to basic needs like nutrition, clothing or safety, which poses a major barrier to education and job opportunities,” she says. “Affordable housing and supportive housing are the key to ending homelessness.”

While being named an RBC All-Star provides meaningful recognition for her work, Thoresen feels the award is more meaningful in what it represents on a larger level.

“I’m very grateful that RBC as an organization puts resources toward recognizing what their employees do in the community,” she says.

Focus on what matters

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